I was chatting with some dear friends yesterday and recounted a story of a couple of years past.  I had taken the boys to a movie and after, we went to Fatburger for lunch.  As they held the outdoor table I waited by the soda fountain for our order.  Next to me was a family of four; parents, a yound boy and a toddler girl.  Mom, Dad and Son had their meals and Toddler-Girl was wailing.  She was not given a meal, instead, was meant to share:  a fry from Mom, a bite from Dad, a sip of juice from Brother.  No good.  Between convulsvie tears, “I want my own!!” was the repeated cry for ALL to hear.  As I waited and watched, I caught her eye.  I held out a straw and she was intrigued.  A reach.  A grab.  “Another one for the other hand?” I offered.  A nod.  A reach.  A grab.  A smile.  Quiet.  She had her own things now.

When one of my boys was this age, he communicated this same message a bit less dramatically, thankfully, as, “I want my special own.”  Not brother’s.  No sharing.  Mine.  As I watch all of us (kids just masquarading as adults) I notice how everyone is working hard to carve out “their special own”.  We cultivate a fashion style, choose a brand of car, strive for financial independence, want to ‘leave a legacy’, put our yoga mat in the same place each time we practice.  We strive to have our “special own” in millions of ways througout our lives.

 What is this about?  Reinforcing the Ego, of course.  As little ones, it’s all we know.  Our world is completely egocentric and nothing matters but feeding the beast.  As we get older, we develop more of a world view and expand our awareness, to become more inclusive, yet how many people do you know who are still metaphorically wailing in the Fatburger, “I want my own!”  Too many for me. 

It feels good to have your special own.  Just like it feels good to me to eat ice cream.  But if I continue to eat ice cream over and over, well, talk about feeding the beast!  I guess what I’ve learned is that I have very strong feelings about wanting “my special own”, even right now, but I can step back to notice that this desire comes from the place of the small self (and I don’t mean the toddler in me, but the ego-driven being) and when I feed it, it makes me feel more separate, less connected. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting for yourself, working to achieve and enjoying the benefits of your efforts.  Yet, if we can stay connected to the higher Self, that which is beyond individual desire, then we have less tendency to wail, or want for anything.  What is our true “special own” is the same and is shared by all–unconditional happiness which comes from letting go of the ego altogether.

If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue.  Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge.  Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time.  It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.  -Deepak Chopra